Singapore Limiting The Number Of Cars On Its Roads

Courtesy: Julian Finney/Getty Images
Courtesy: Julian Finney/Getty Images /

Singapore has announced that it will freeze the number of vehicles allowed in the country starting from this upcoming February.

With a population of only about 5.7 million people, Singapore revealed its plan to freeze the number of cars on its roads starting next year. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said that public transportation upgrades and land scarcity are to blame. The small, but densely populated country already enforces policies that limit the number of vehicles allowed to be on the streets. With that being said, there certainly won’t be an increase anytime soon, as Singapore plans to cut traffic and congestion. To put the crowding into perspective, the nation currently has around 600,000 private vehicles taking up space on its streets.

Because of this, car ownership rates are Singapore are much lower than that of a wealthier country. This is partly due to Singapore being a very expensive place to own and drive a car. Drivers are required to purchase a special certificate from the government before they are allowed on the roads. This certificate can cost people around 50,000 Singapore dollars, or about $37,000 USD. It also doesn’t help that these certificates only last for 10 years; there are even costly auctions that take place for people who want to buy one. Singapore also have very high price markups because of the numerous taxes and import duties it has.

With 277 square miles, Singapore currently has more than 600,000 trucks, cars and motorcycles taking up its road.

According to the government, this doesn’t allow much room for other things like new infrastructure (to, in turn, accommodate more). For years, the city-state has restricted its vehicular population and most recently was recorded at .25 percent annually. According to Reuters, this is why certificates at the auctions have gone up to $30,000 for cars and trucks, and $3,000 for bikes.

Reuters went on to say,

"More from Car NewsThe Ford F150 Lightning Sort Of Makes Sense, Here’s WhyWill We See A Mainstream Tesla Roadster Anytime Soon?Is This What the New Honda Prelude Will Look Like?Subaru to Debut WRX TR at 2024 Florida SubieFestMercedes-Benz Releases Second Generation AMG GT Coupe“Singapore tightly controls its vehicle population by setting an annual growth rate and through a system of bidding for the right to own and use a vehicle for a limited number of years. It is one of the most densely populated nations on the planet and already has an extensive public transport system.“Singapore has expanded its rail network length by 30 percent and has added new routes and capacity in its bus network. The government will continue to invest S$20 billion ($14.7 billion) in new rail infrastructure, S$4 billion to renew, upgrade and expand rail operating assets, and another S$4 billion in bus contracting subsidies over the next five years, the LTA said.”"

The roads in Singapore alone account for 12 percent of the city-state’s entire land area.

The Land Transport Authority had the following to say:

"“In view of land constraints and competing needs, there is limited scope for further expansion of the road network.”"

Basically, the government is trying to get less people to drive on its roads and more people to use its upgraded public transportation system.

Next: Toyota Testing Lane-Specific Traffic Alert System

On a more positive note, check out the video below to take a sneak peek into the Singapore car scene.

The new rule, capping the number of cars allowed, will go into effect in February of 2018. This may not be permanent, though. The government says that it will review the new limit in 2020 and act accordingly when the time comes.

Source: CNN News